Money will be on the mind of the Calaveras County Water District board of directors, particularly over the next few months.

At a special CCWD finance committee meeting, at 1:30 p.m. today, May 28, committee members will begin district budget deliberations with a discussion and review of the upcoming fiscal year’s preliminary budget.

Late last week, the district also released an official notice regarding its proposed rate increases for the coming year. If approved, the increases will take effect starting Sept. 1. A public hearing will be held July 10 to accept public comment on the issue.

The district’s release noted that capital improvement costs – rehabilitation and replacement of existing water and wastewater infrastructure, upgrading the Copper Cove wastewater treatment facility and changes in state regulatory requirements – are the major factors behind the increases.

In an earlier interview with the Enterprise, CCWD President Don Stump emphasized that the district would strive to hire local workers to help replace and update its aging infrastructure.

“CCWD does a terrific job in that we hire locally whenever possible. Local contractors, local vendors – money stays in the community,” he said.

The water district also said that it has “initiated numerous cost-saving measures, including salary and benefit savings, reduced debt service costs … and lower(ed) labor and supply costs due to streamlining operations” to keep the rate increases at their lowest possible level.

The proposed increases for water and wastewater are posted in full detail on the district’s website and increase gradually over the next five years. Current monthly wastewater rates are $67.50 and would climb to about $110 by 2018. Water charges are dependent on meter size but all are set to increase nearly 70 percent by 2018.

A protest letter template is also available on CCWD’s website, ccwd.org. If a majority of affected property owners protest, the changes will not be implemented. Letters of protest must be received prior to the end of the July 10 public hearing and can be mailed either to the Board Clerk, P.O. Box 846, San Andreas, 95249 or hand delivered to the district office in San Andreas, 423 St. Charles St.

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